Ipswich Sports Club can build homes on pitch to help fund expansion
PUBLISHED: 18:30 31 May 2017
A proposal to build 28 new homes on the artificial hockey pitch at Ipswich Sports Club has been backed by planners – paving the way for new facilities at the Henley Road site.
However an application to build a new 25-metre swimming pool on part of the site was turned down by the same planning and development committee – members wanted to see more details about its operation before they gave it the go-ahead.
But a proposal to build a mixture of contemporary townhouses, semi-detached, and terraced homes and a small block of flats on the club’s artificial hockey pitch was approved.
That should provide funds to allow the club to develop its sports facilities in the future – and it was given permission to build a first-floor extension to its gym.
Local residents objected to the proposed homes – and Conservative councillor John Carnall said they would be out of place in that part of the town. They would have smaller plots than nearby homes.
However this did not impress Labour councillor Andi Hopgood who could see nothing wrong with the mix of two, three, and four-bedroomed houses.
She said: “I don’t know what kind of house Councillor Carnall comes from, but to people who live in my part of the town they look like pretty big houses!”
Vanessa Penn from the sports club said the development of the pitch was vital to help fund the development of the club. The pitch was not well used and the club had been unable to install floodlights because of objections from neighbours.
Some of the money raised would be used to develop a new all-weather hockey pitch with floodlighting in Tuddenham Road – a move that was backed by Sport England.
The proposal to build a new swimming pool was rejected because committee members were concerned the need to fell a mature cedar tree – and because there were few details available about its use.
Rob Marsh-Feiley, from Hollins Architects in Framlingham, who is also a member of the club, was not too disheartened by the refusal of the pool application.
He said: “I feel the planners accepted the principle of developing the club. We may look again at some stage in the future – but the development of the homes would not be enough to fund the pool.”
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